Drake Stadium (Drake University)

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Drake Stadium
"The Blue Oval"
US Navy 110429-N-0000W-312 Members of the U.S. Navy parachute demonstration team, the Leap Frogs, perform above Drake Stadium during the opening ce.jpg
Location2719 Forest Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa, 50311 United States
Coordinates41°36′18″N 93°39′18″W / 41.60500°N 93.65500°W / 41.60500; -93.65500Coordinates: 41°36′18″N 93°39′18″W / 41.60500°N 93.65500°W / 41.60500; -93.65500
OwnerDrake University
OperatorDrake University
Capacity14,557 (2006–present)
18,000 (1925–2005)
SurfaceFieldTurf
Construction
Broke ground1925
OpenedOctober 10, 1925[3]
Renovated2005
Construction cost$15 million (2005 renovation)[1]
ArchitectRDG Planning & Design (2005 renovation)[2]
Tenants
Drake Bulldogs football (NCAA) (1925–present)
Drake Relays (1926–present)

Drake Stadium is a stadium on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, United States. Best known as the home of the Drake Relays, it also serves as the home field of the university's football team. It opened in 1925.

History[edit]

Drake Stadium opened on October 10, 1925, as the Bulldogs defeated Kansas.

Drake Stadium has seen the Drake Bulldogs win thirteen conference championships in football, while advancing to five college football bowl games. The stadium is also the home field for nearby Des Moines Roosevelt High School and occasional home games for Dowling High School. It is currently the largest stadium in the Pioneer Football League.

Drake Stadium is also the home to the Drake Relays, one of the premier track and field meets in the country. Thousands of high school, college, and professional track athletes come to Drake Stadium in late April to compete in one of the largest track meets in the United States. The stadium also hosts the Iowa boys and girls high school track state championships. Fourteen world records have been set at the Relays.

The Bulldogs played their 2005 home games at Waukee High School's Warrior Stadium due to renovations at the stadium.

It also serves as a secondary venue for the university's men's and women's soccer teams..

Renovations[edit]

The football field at Drake Stadium is named in honor of Drake alumnus and football great Johnny Bright and the track is named after famed announcer Jim Duncan.[4]

The installation of a $175,000 tartan track in 1969 replaced the cinder track. It was a magnificent 60th birthday present for Drake Relays competitors and fans. In 1976, all individual events at the Drake Relays went metric; in 1978, the conversion was completed with rebuilding of the track into a 400-meter oval so that relay races, too, could go metric. The Jim Duncan Track was resurfaced in the summer of 1989 in Drake blue school colors, featuring a combination of polyurethane coating and EPDM rubber granules.

The 2005-06 renovation project improved many aspects of the stadium. The surface area of the stadium was flattened (previously the infield sat several feet lower than the track surface). It created a reconfigured track to meet NCAA, national and international standards, improved seating, and added a "safety lane" on the outside of the track for athletes (in the old configuration, fans could easily make contact with a competitor in lane 8). In addition, a new scoreboard with video screen was placed at the northeast corner of the stadium. Widening the track reduced the stadium's seating capacity from 18,000 to 14,557.[5] As a result, throwing events were moved to an area north of the stadium.

In the summer of 2016 the field and track were resurfaced.[6] New turf was installed and the track surface was replaced using the same material used at the Beijing and London Summer Olympics.

Notable events[edit]

Drake Stadium has hosted the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships on four occasions:

  • 1970 (men's only)
  • 2008 (men's and women's)
  • 2011 (men's and women's)
  • 2012 (men's and women's)

The 2008 championships doubled the previous four-day record crowd with a total attendance of 41,187 (including over 11,000 for the final day) despite heavy flooding in Des Moines.

Drake Stadium has also hosted the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships three times:[7]

Additionally, the facility has hosted the AAU Junior Olympic Games four times.

Stadium records[edit]

Men[edit]

Event Record Athlete Nationality Meet
100 m 9.89 Ngonidzashe Makusha
Justin Gatlin
 Zimbabwe
 United States
2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships
2013 USA Outdoor Championships
200 m 19.86 Isiah Young  United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
400 m 44.08 Kirani James  Grenada 2016 Drake Relays
800 m 1:43.27 Duane Solomon  United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
1500 m 3:38.27 Steve Scott  United States 1984 Drake Relays
Mile 3:51.71 Alan Webb  United States 2007 Drake Relays
5000 m 13:27.20 Nick Rose  Great Britain 1977 Drake Relays
10000 m 28:07.14 Cameron Levins  Canada 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships
110 m hurdles 12.93 David Oliver  United States 2010 USA Outdoor Championships
400 m hurdles 47.32 Bershawn Jackson  United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
3000 m steeplechase 8:20.67 Evan Jager  United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
High jump 2.40 m (7 ft 10 14 in) Derek Drouin  Canada 2014 Drake Relays
Pole vault 5.81 m (19 ft 12 in) Jeff Hartwig  United States 2007 Drake Relays
Long jump 8.40 m (27 ft 6 12 in) Ngonidzashe Makusha  Zimbabwe 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships
Triple jump 17.40 m (57 ft 1 in) Christian Taylor  United States 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships
Shot put 22.11 m (72 ft 6 14 in) Ryan Whiting  United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
Discus throw 64.31 m (210 ft 11 34 in) Mac Wilkins  United States 1978 Drake Relays
Hammer Throw 76.51 m (251 ft 0 in) Jake Freeman  United States 2010 USA Outdoor Championships
Javelin throw 83.50 m (273 ft 11 14 in) Riley Dolezal  United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
Decathlon 8291 pts Ashton Eaton  United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships

Women[edit]

Event Record Athlete Nationality Meet
100 m 10.85 English Gardner
Barbara Pierre
 United States
 United States
2013 USA Outdoor Championships
200 m 22.19 Kimberlyn Duncan  United States 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships
400 m 49.64 Debbie Dunn  United States 2010 USA Outdoor Championships
800 m 1:58.67 Alysia Montaño  United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
1500 m 4:03.35 Jennifer Simpson  United States 2013 Drake Relays
Mile 4:40.2 Francie Larrieu-Smith  United States 1975 Drake Relays
5000 m 15:15.08 Sally Kipyego  Kenya 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships
10000 m 31:43.20 Shalane Flanagan  United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
100 m hurdles 12.26 Brianna Rollins  United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
400 m hurdles 53.83 Dalilah Muhammad  United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
3000 m steeplechase 8:31.02 Jennifer Simpson  United States 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships
High jump 2.05 m (6 ft 8 12 in) Chaunte Lowe  United States 2010 USA Outdoor Championships
Pole vault 4.89 m (16 ft 12 in) Jenn Suhr  United States 2010 USA Outdoor Championships
Long jump 6.93 m (22 ft 8 34 in) Brittney Reese  United States 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships
Triple jump 14.20 m (46 ft 7 in) Hanna Demydova  Ukraine 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships
Shot put 20.24 m (66 ft 4 34 in) Michelle Carter  United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
Discus throw 65.13 m (213 ft 8 in) Gia Lewis-Smallwood  United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
Hammer throw 75.73 m (248 ft 5 14 in) Amanda Bingson  United States 2013 USA Outdoor Championships
Javelin throw 66.67 m (218 ft 8 34 in) Kara Patterson  United States 2010 USA Outdoor Championships
Heptathlon 6735 pts Hyleas Fountain  United States 2010 USA Outdoor Championships

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.godrakebulldogs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=15700&ATCLID=1137066
  2. ^ http://www.rdgusa.com/projects/drake-stadium-renovation-phase-i
  3. ^ http://www.godrakebulldogs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=15700&ATCLID=1137066
  4. ^ http://drakeapedia.drake.wikispaces.net/Jim+Duncan
  5. ^ "Drake Stadium History - GoDrakeBulldogs.com—Official Web site of Drake University Athletics". Godrakebulldogs.com. 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
  6. ^ http://godrakebulldogs.com/sports/2016/6/20/stadium-construction-update.aspx
  7. ^ http://www.runblogrun.com/2012/03/des-moines-to-host-2013-usa-outdoor-track-field-championships-release-note-by-larry-eder.html

External links[edit]